Service X50 was introduced as a Limited-Stop Express service by First Midland Red Buses Limited on Monday 7th September 2015, to provide a fast, direct link between Worcester, Pershore and Evesham, and continues past Evesham to serve Bidford-on-Avon and Alcester. At introduction, this was the first time FirstGroup has operated services between Evesham and Alcester since the sale of Redditch depot to Diamond Bus in March 2013.
This service replaced most journeys on Service 550, and was inter-worked with Service 551 and Service 561 (both of which call at all stops on request) to provide an overall 30-minute frequency on certain parts of the route between Worcester, Pershore and Evesham.
From Monday 17th August 2015, three Volvo B7RLE single-deck buses were overhauled and repainted into the latest FirstGroup “Urban 2” livery with route branding for Service X50. These vehicles re-entered service in the new livery from Tuesday 20th October 2015, and it was quickly noted that the route branding did not mention the Evesham to Alcester section of the route. Enthusiasts speculated that this was a sign the route would soon be extended to either Stratford-upon-Avon or Redditch, and there was much debate as to which would be better. However, that section of the route was not successful and in February 2016, after just 5-months of operation, it was revealed the service would only run between Worcester and Evesham from Monday 11th April 2016. At the same time, Service 551 was withdrawn between Upper Moor and Evesham during off-peak hours, and Service 561 was withdrawn entirely, so Service X50 was re-routed to service Cropthorne and Charlton during off-peak times.
On Sunday 6th March 2016, the Managing Director of First Midlands, Mr. Nigel Eggleton, addressed a meeting of bus enthusiasts and stated that he saw the cuts to this service as a short-term and temporary setback and that it was his wish to see the extended again at a later date. Further meetings took place over the following year, some were public meetings and others were in private with local Parish Councils and transport action groups. As a result of these meetings and protracted negotiations, First Midland Red introduced a new network of services linking Worcester, Pershore, Evesham, and various nearby villages, on Sunday 15th October 2017. At this time Service X50 was not extended, but the Cropthorne and Charlton variation was withdrawn as these villages were now served by new Service 51 and Service 52, so all Service X50 journeys ran direct over the whole route.
1 Three journeys terminate at Evesham (06:20, 07:00 and 18:20 departure from Worcester).
|X50||FMR||September||2015||Worcester • Pershore • Evesham • Alcester|
|April||2016||Worcester • Pershore • Evesham|
|September||2016||Worcester • Pershore • Evesham|
|October||2017||Worcester • Pershore • EveshamCurrent|